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Posts tagged "Employment Law"

Employers Make Your New Year's Resolutions Now

The New Year provides a fresh start and motivation to set goals. Employers can and should make resolutions to make the New Year better for the organization and the employees. If you procrastinated last year, it is not too late to add those "to-dos" to your list for this New Year, and some items are updates on an on-going basis. Challenge yourself and your employees to better the work environment on 2019 resolutions.

Second Circuit Decides Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination - Is a Supreme Court Showdown Next?

On February 26, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York issued its en banc decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express, 883 F.3d 100 (2nd Cir. 2018), holding that Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Altitude Express terminated Donald Zarda, a Long Island sky-diving instructor, in 2010. As Mr. Zarda prepared for a tandem sky-dive with a female student, he told her that he was "100 percent gay," and the student's boyfriend later complained to Altitude Express, which then terminated Mr. Zarda's employment. Mr. Zarda commenced a lawsuit in the federal U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, asserting that his firing violated Title VII.

Sex Harassment in the News and Employer's Obligations

Sex harassment has filled the news media for several weeks with accounts of misdeeds of Hollywood producers, actors, congressmen, senate candidates, media personalities and, close to our home, the resignations of legislative members and the apologies of Senator Franken.

Are Professional Football Players Protests Protected by Minnesota State or Federal Law?

With President Trump's announcement to fire the "SOBs" who kneel in disrespect to the flag and national anthem, the whole NFL protest has been the subject of discussion in our office. This brought up the question of whether firing the "SOBs" would be permissible, or retaliation under some law.

EMPLOYERS BEWARE: 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Workplace Recording Policy is Unlawful

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently became the second federal appeals court to hold an employer's policy prohibiting photographing and recording in the workplace violates the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). The Court held unlawful the employer's policy that prohibited all "photography and audio or video recording in the workplace" without prior permission from a manager, human resources, or the employer's legal department. (T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board).1

Friedlander clarifies Minnesota Whistleblower Law

The Minnesota Supreme Court, on August 9, 2017, answered a question that has plagued Minnesota employment lawyers for four years. Prior to August 9, 2017, an employee seeking to "blow the whistle" on the employer's practices arguably had to demonstrate, as part of the employee's "good faith" report, that the employee made the report for the "purpose of exposing an illegality." I say arguably, because in 2013, the Minnesota Legislature had ostensibly removed this obligation when it codified a definition of "good faith" in the Minnesota Whistleblower Act. Despite this 2013 amendment, which most practitioners recognized significantly broadened the law in favor of whistleblowers, some courts stubbornly continued to apply the former court-created definition of "good faith." In Friedlander v. Edwards Life Sciences, LLC, the Minnesota Supreme Court finally put that issue to rest by officially holding that the "purpose of exposing an illegality" is no longer a part of an employee's burden of proof.

Election Excesses Spark Employment Law Curiosity

Drug testing and sexual harassment have found their way into the election for the highest office in the land. Donald Trump has proposed that Hillary Clinton and he each subject themselves to drug testing before Wednesday night's debate to underscore Hillary's being physically unfit for President. Hillary challenges Donald's fitness with a bevy of accusers of Donald Trump's propensity to demean women and allegations he suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. Politics aside, what if these were candidates for private employment, and you were the decision-maker?

Minnesota to Mandate Paid Sick Leave Time for Employees

St. Paul becomes the second city in Minnesota to mandate paid sick leave time for employees. http://www.twincities.com/2016/09/07/st-paul-approves-earned-sick-leave-mandate/. The ordinance, which takes effect July 1, 2017, requires employers to allot their workers an hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 80 hours in a two-year period.

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